Every year, holiday toy drives gather donations for children so families with limited resources and income can give their children a memorable Christmas. If you want to run your own toy drive for the local community, you can plan ahead to ensure you keep everything organized and easy to sort through.
Ideally, you will want to keep your donations in a storage unit. Follow this guide to help you plan, organize, and keep your toy drive running smoothly.
Typically, toy donations get separated into categories based on two needs: gender and age groups. Easily keep the toys organized by following those same patterns. Set up a unit to keep toy donations loaded on both sides of the unit with a center aisle you can easily walk up and down.
Split up each side by common gender-based toys. Start with the toys for younger children in the front and older ages in the back. For example, the left side of a unit can feature toys geared toward girls. Preschool-aged toys would be found in the front while electronics and toys for older girls would have locations in the back left side.
Use the very back of the unit for gender-neutral toys. The toys can include board games, puzzles, building sets, or crafts. When you go through toy requests for families in need, you can easily retrieve the items without searching for long periods of time and constantly moving toys around.
Once you figure out how to sort the toys, you can use many different strategies to keep them organized. Boxes and bins offer easy toy organization options, but you do not just want to bury toys underneath piles and make them hard to access. Ideally, you should place open shelf units on both sides of the storage unit.
Tall shelving units allow you to make the most out of the storage unit space. You can fill the shelves as high as possible and will not feel limited by the number of toys you need in the area. Once you select a storage unit, look at the unit specifications to know the exact height. From there, you can purchase shelves to fit inside the unit.
The late autumn and winter months feature a wide range of weather. When you give out toy donations, you want to ensure the toys still remain in mint condition. A storage unit provides multiple forms of protection for the toys.
When fully shut and locked, storage units will not let any natural light into the space. UV light can cause colors to fade on toy packages, so the protection will ensure the toys look brand new.
You should also consider the rental of a climate-controlled storage unit. The units offer automatic heat and humidity control based on the outdoor weather and will keep all of the toy donations at room temperature.
Cold weather can have a lot of impacts on toys. The cold weather could make plastic packages brittle and cause them to crack or break. You also do not want cold weather to impact any toys with built-in batteries. The cold weather could impact the longevity of battery life and make you need replacements.
In some cases, you may have toys that carry over to the next holiday season. Climate-controlled units provide extra benefits in the summer as well. High heat can warp toy packages and make them damaged, as well as cause battery issues. The climate control works year-round and allows you to continue your toy drive for as long as you need.
Toy Pick-Up Options
Many storage units have multiple layers of security. The extra security will help protect your toys, but they also prevent anyone from just driving up with toy donations. Even with the extra security, you have multiple ways to easily collect toy donations. Consider the nearest post office to the storage unit location. Rent a temporary post office box to collect the toys.
As you advertise your toy drive, you can supply the mailing address and anyone who wants to donate can send the toys directly to the post office. When you go to pick up the packages, you can easily transport them right to the storage unit and keep everything organized.
Some storage units may offer moving truck or van rentals. If you hold toy drive events, you could rent one of the trucks to transport bulk collections of toys right back to the storage unit in a single trip. Once you are done unloading the toys, you can easily return the rental vehicle to the storage unit.
Plan your toy drive and other storage needs with us at North Star Mini Storage. We offer climate-controlled units in multiple sizes to fit your needs. Look into our rental options and see how our secure units can help your toy drive become an annual success.